Nepal Maoists backtrack on talks with India to end deadlock
Kathmandu: Amid loud boasts by Maoists supremo Prachanda that he will now hold "decisive talks" only with the "masters" in India to resolve the political crisis, the Maoists on Wednesday backtracked, saying discussions with New Delhi would not relate to the internal affairs of the country.
Prachanda, the chairman of the main opposition Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) party yesterday threatened to paralyse the country with an indefinite general strike from Jan 24 and declared that it would no longer hold talks with the ruling parties here who were "robots" "remote-controlled" by India.
However, the Maoist party, which allowed the 601-member Constituent Assembly to function today, seems to have done a U-turn.
Narayan Kaji Shrestha, UCPN-Maoist deputy leader in the Parliament, today interpreted Prachanda`s fiery speech related to talks with India as not intended to discuss internal affairs of Nepal. Prachanda was just making satirical remarks on futility of having talks with the ruling party alliances including Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML, Shrestha told mediapersons.
Shrestha said the former prime minister merely intended to taunt Nepal’s ruling parties since they were "as unresponsive as wooden puppets".
Prachanda also met Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal along with hardliner Maoist leader Mohan Vaidya Kiran yesterday to find a way out of the crisis which threatens to engulf the country in a fresh round of violence. They also discussed about Nepal`s forthcoming visit to China, according to sources close to the Prime Minister.
Addressing the massive rally in the heart of the capital yesterday at the end of the party`s three-day anti-government agitation, Prachanda said he had no hopes ofending the deadlock through dialogue with Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML as they act as per the orders from New Delhi.
He said his party is ready to hold "decisive talks" with the masters (India) and not the current "puppet government" to resolve the deepening political crisis.
Prachanda had also demanded the scrapping of the 1950 Indo-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty along with all other "unequal" pacts with India.
The former rebel leader also called for the withdrawal of Indian troops from Kalapani, a disputed part of Nepal’s territory on the borders of India, Nepal and China.
His remarks about talking directly to New Delhi comes ahead of a planed three-day visit by Indian Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna to Nepal in mid-January.
The Maoists today ended its seven-month long disruption of Parliament as it was ready to "debate the issues" at the heart of the deepening political crisis.
"Instead of demonstrating and chanting slogans to disrupt parliament we will try to discuss and debate the issues," said Baburam Bhattarai, the deputy leader of the party.
The anti-government protests by the UCPN-Maoist was aimed to step up pressure on the embattled 22-party coalition to rectify the "unconstitutional" decision of President Ram Baran Yadav, who reinstated the then army chief Gen Rukmangad Katawal, dismissed by Prachanda in May.
The deepening political crisis, since the Prachanda-led government resigned earlier this year, has put new stresses on Nepal`s reconciliation efforts, amid fears that the stalled peace process may be derailed.
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